Sigsand Manuscript


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"What is it?" I asked in an undertone, after a couple of moments' further ineffectual peering. "I can't see anything."

"H'sh!" he muttered, hoarsely, without looking in my direction. Then, all at once, with a quick little gasp, he sprang across the wheel-box, and stood beside me, trembling. His gaze appeared to follow the movements of something I could not see.

I must say that I was startled. His movement had shown such terror; and the way he stared to leeward made me think he saw something uncanny.

"What the deuce is up with you?" I asked, sharply. And then I remembered the Second Mate. I glanced forrard to where he lounged. His back was still towards us, and he had not seen Tammy. Then I turned to the boy.

"For goodness sake, get to looard before the Second sees you!" I said. "If you want to say anything, say it across the wheel-box. You've been dreaming."

Even as I spoke, the little beggar caught at my sleeve with one hand; and, pointing across to the log-reel with the other, screamed: "He's coming! He's coming--" At this instant, the Second Mate came running aft, singing out to know what was the matter. Then, suddenly, crouching under the rail near the log-reel, I saw something that looked like a man; but so hazy and unreal, that I could scarcely say I saw anything. Yet, like a flash, my thoughts ripped back to the silent figure I had seen in the flicker of the moonlight, a week earlier.

The Second Mate reached me, and I pointed, dumbly; and yet, as I did so, it was with the knowledge that he would not be able to see what I saw. (Queer, wasn't it?) And then, almost in a breath, I lost sight of the thing, and became aware that Tammy was hugging my knees.

The Second continued to stare at the log-reel for a brief instant; then he turned to me, with a sneer.

"Been asleep, the pair of you, I suppose!" Then, without waiting for my denial, he told Tammy to go to hell out of it and stop his noise, or he'd boot him off the poop.

After that, he walked forrard to the break of the poop, and lit his pipe, again--walking forrard and aft every few minutes, and eyeing me, at times, I thought, with a strange, half-doubtful, half-puzzled look.

Later, as soon as I was relieved, I hurried down to the 'prentice's berth. I was anxious to speak to Tammy. There were a dozen questions that worried me, and I was in doubt what I ought to do. I found him crouched on a sea-chest, his knees up to his chin, and his gaze fixed on the doorway, with a frightened stare. I put my head into the berth, and he gave a gasp; then he saw who it was, and his face relaxed something of its strained expression.

He said: "Come in," in a low voice, which he tried to steady; and I stepped over the wash-board, and sat down on a chest, facing him.

"What was it?" he asked; putting his feet down on to the deck, and leaning forward. "For God's sake, tell me what it was!"

His voice had risen, and I put up my hand to warn him.

"H'sh!" I said. "You'll wake the other fellows."

He repeated his question, but in a lower tone. I hesitated, before answering him. I felt, all at once, that it might be better to deny all knowledge--to say I hadn't seen anything unusual. I thought quickly, and made answer on the turn of the moment.

"What was what?" I said. "That's just the thing I've come to ask you. A pretty pair of fools you made of the two of us up on the poop just now, with your hysterical tomfoolery."

I concluded my remark in a tone of anger.

"I didn't!" he answered, in a passionate whisper. "You know I didn't. You know you saw it yourself. You pointed it out to the Second Mate. I saw you."

The little beggar was nearly crying between fear, and vexation at my assumed unbelief.

"Rot!" I replied. "You know jolly well you were sleeping in your time-keeping. You dreamed something and woke up suddenly. You were off your chump."

I was determined to reassure him, if possible; though, goodness! I wanted assurance myself. If he had known of that other thing, I had seen down on the maindeck, what then?

"I wasn't asleep, any more than you were," he said, bitterly. "And you know it. You're just fooling me. The ship's haunted."

"What!" I said, sharply.

"She's haunted," he said, again. "She's haunted."

"Who says so?" I inquired, in a tone of unbelief.

"I do! And you know it. Everybody knows it; but they don't more than half believe it . . . I didn't, until tonight."

"Damned rot!" I answered. "That's all a blooming old shellback's yarn. She's no more haunted than I am."

"It's not damned rot,' he replied, totally unconvinced. "And it's not an old shellback's yarn . . . Why won't you say you saw it?" he cried, growing almost tearfully excited, and raising his voice again.

I warned him not to wake the sleepers.

"Why won't you say that you saw it?" he repeated.

I got up from the chest, and went towards the door.

"You're a young idiot!" I said. "And I should advise you not to go gassing about like this, round the decks. Take my tip, and turn-in and get a sleep. You're talking dotty. Tomorrow you'll perhaps feel what an unholy ass you've made of yourself."

I stepped over the washboard, and left him. I believe he followed me to the door to say something further; but I was half-way forrard by then.

For the next couple of days, I avoided him as much as possible, taking care never to let him catch me alone. I was determined, if possible, to convince him that he had been mistaken in supposing that he had seen anything that night. Yet, after all, it was little enough use, as you will soon see. For, on the night of the second day, there was a further extraordinary development, that made denial on my part useless.


 今回紹介するのはホジスンが乗った船、エウテルペ号の船首像の写真です。同じものでより鮮明なものが先ごろ発表されたジェーン・フランクによる「The Wandering Soul」の表紙を飾っていますが、こちらの出典はTimes Weekly Edition1932年9月15日号です。

 モスコウィッツのホジスン評伝「The Posthumous Acceptance of William Hope Hodgson」によると、1932年3月にWeekly Timesへ8ドルで、また9月にはTimes Supplementへ3ドルで売られたということです。Weekly TimesとTimes Supplementと、ここでは異なった名で呼ばれていますが、両者は同じ新聞で、Times Weekly Editionのことです。



The first ten days, aided by a fresh fair wind, took them well clear of the Channel, and Mrs. Tom Pemberton was beginning to find her sea legs. Then, on the thirteenth day out they ran into dirty weather. Hitherto, the Pampero had been lucky (for her), nothing special having occurred save that one of the men was laid up through the starboard fore crane line having given way under him, letting him down on deck with a run. Yet because the man was alive and no limbs broken, there was a general feeling that the old packet was on her good behavior.
Then, as I have said, they ran into bad weather and were hove to for three weary days under bare poles. On the morning of the fourth, the wind moderated sufficiently to allow of their setting the main top sail, storm foresail, and staysail, and running her off before the wind. During that day the weather grew steadily finer, the wind dropping and the sea going down; so that by evening they were bowling along before a comfortable six-knot breeze. Then, just before sunset, they had evidence once again that the Pampero was on her good behavior, and that there were other ships less lucky than she; for out of the red glare of sunset to starboard there floated to them the water-logged shell of a ship's lifeboat.
In passing, one of the men caught a glimpse of something crumpled up on a thwart, and sung out to the Mate who was in charge. He, having obtained permission from the Skipper, put the ship in irons and lowered a boat. Reaching the wrecked craft, it was discovered that the something on the thwart was the still living form of a seaman, exhausted and scarcely in his right mind. Evidently they had been only just in time; for hardly had they removed him to their own boat before the other, with a slow, oily roil, disappeared from sight.





Tears had their due effect, and the next instant Tom was kneeling beside her, libelling himself heartily. Presently, after sundry passages, her nose-a little pink-came out from the depth of his handkerchief.
"I shall come with you!" The words were uttered with sufficient determination to warn him that there was real danger of her threat being put into execution, and Tom, who was not entirely free from the popular superstition regarding the Pampero, began to feel uneasy as she combated every objection which he put forward. It was all very well going to sea in her himself but to take his little girl, well-that was another thing. And so, like a sensible loving fellow, he fought every inch of the ground with her; the natural result being that at the end of an hour he retired shall we say "retreated"-to smoke a pipe in his den and meditate on the perversity of womankind in general and his own wife in particular.
And she-well, she went to her bedroom, and turned out all her pretty summer dresses, and for a time was quite happy. No doubt she was thinking of the tropics. Later, under Tom's somewhat disparaging guidance, she made selection among her more substantial frocks. And, in short, three weeks later saw her at sea in the haunted Pampero, along with her husband.



テキストは「The Collected Fiction of William Hope Hodgson」の第三集「The Ghost Pirates and Other Revenante of the Sea」より、「The Haunted Pampero」。

The Haunted Pampero

William Hope Hodgson


"HURRAH!" CRIED YOUNG TOM Pemberton as he threw open the door and came forward into the room where his newlywed wife was busily employed about some sewing, "they've given me a ship. What ho!" and he threw his peaked uniform cap down on the table with a bang.
"A ship, Tom?" said his wife, letting her sewing rest idly in her lap.
"The Pampero," said Tom proudly.
"What! The 'Haunted Pampero'?" cried his wife in a voice expressive of more dismay than elation.
"That's what a lot of fools call her," admitted Tom, unwilling to near a word against his new kingdom. "It's all a lot of rot! She's no more haunted than I am!"
"And you've accepted?" asked Mrs. Tom, anxiously, rising to her feet with a sudden movement which sent the contents of her lap to the floor.
"You bet I have!" replied Tom. "It's not a chance to be thrown away, to be Master of a vessel before I've jolly well reached twenty-five."
He went toward her, holding out his arms happily; but he stopped suddenly as he caught sight of the dismayed look upon her face.
"What's up, little girl?" he asked. "You don't look a bit pleased." His voice denoted that her lack of pleasure in his news hurt him.
"I'm not, Tom. Not a bit. She's a dreadful ship! All sorts of horrible things happen to her-"
"Rot!" interrupted Tom decisively. "What do you know about her anyway? She's one of the finest vessels in the company."
"Everybody knows," she said, with a note of tears in her voice.
"Oh. Tom. can't you get out of it?"
"Don't want to!" crossly.
"Why didn't you come and ask me before deciding?"
"Wasn't any time!" gruffly. "It was 'Yes' or 'No.'
"Oh, why didn't you say 'No'"
"Because I'm not a fool!" growing savage.
"I shall never be happy again," she said, sitting down abruptly and beginning to cry.






ホジスンが写真を撮っていたというのは良く知られたことですが、どのような形であれ、その写真を眼にした人はかなりのマニアでしょう。今回紹介するのは、Times Weekly Edition 1932年3月3日号に掲載されたもので、キャプションには “AT SEA:The sailmaker at work on board the sailing-ship Euterpe during a voyage from Grasgow to  Dunedin,New Zealand, with a cargo of dynamite and other explosives”とあります。当時の積荷目録によると「648ケースのダイナマイトと2ケースのカーボナイト」が積まれていたということです。



The next morning, in my watch below, I had a look at the places where that strange thing had come aboard, and left the ship; but I found nothing unusual, and no clue to help me to understand the mystery of the strange man.

For several days after that, all went quietly; though I prowled about the decks at night, trying to discover anything fresh that might tend to throw some light on the matter. I was careful to say nothing to any one about the thing I had seen. In any case, I felt sure I should only have been laughed at.

Several nights passed away in this manner, and I was no nearer to an understanding of the affair. And then, in the middle watch, something happened.

It was my wheel. Tammy, one of the first voyage 'prentices, was keeping time--walking up and down the lee side of the poop. The Second Mate was forrard, leaning over the break of the poop, smoking. The weather still continued fine, and the moon, though declining, was sufficiently powerful to make every detail about the poop, stand out distinctly. Three bells had gone, and I'll admit I was feeling sleepy. Indeed, I believe I must have dozed, for the old packet steered very easily, and there was precious little to do, beyond giving her an odd spoke now and again. And then, all at once, it seemed to me that I heard someone calling my name, softly. I could not be certain; and first I glanced forrard to where the Second stood, smoking, and from him, I looked into the binnacle. The ship's head was right on her course, and I felt easier. Then, suddenly, I heard it again. There was no doubt about it this time, and I glanced to leeward. There I saw Tammy reaching over the steering gear, his hand out, in the act of trying to touch my arm. I was about to ask him what the devil he wanted, when he held up his finger for silence, and pointed forrard along the lee side of the poop. In the dim light, his face showed palely, and he seemed much agitated. For a few seconds, I stared in the direction he indicated, but could see nothing.









 ところで、さっきちょっと"Book FInder.com"で調べてみたのですが、ココを(いつまでリンクが有効か分かりませんが、母サイトで検索すると、また見つかるかもしれません)見ると、最後の二つがStanley Paul社から1909年に出たもののようですが、その下から二番目の方が、どうも緑クロスのもののようです。5×8インチのハードカバーで、一応、1909年刊ということになっています。残念ながら、書影がないので、よくわからないのですけれども。
 (※追記 やっぱり駄目みたいですね。Book Finder com.のトップから、"william hodgson"で検索して、そこから"The Ghost Pirates "を辿ってください。すると値段順に並んでいるので、その一番下の二冊を見てください。ただし、これも本が売れてしまったら、駄目になりますが……)



原書Ghost Piratesは1909年にStanley Paul社より出版されました。A5版ほどの大きさで、価格は6シリングでした。本文276ページに加え、12ページの広告がつけられていました。写真は出版情報誌 Publisher's Circular 1909年9月25日号に載ったStanley Paul社の新刊広告です。

装丁は赤クロス装のものと緑クロスのものとが知られています。表紙には表題と共に詩?“Strange as the Glimmer of the ghastly light That shines from some vast crest of wave at night”が載せられています。本を開くと本編の前に、シームの挿絵、献辞“To Mary Whalley” と詩“The World of Dreams”が、それからボーダーランド三部作に言及した序文、さらに詩 “The Hell O! O! Chaunty”が収録されています。Mary Whalley はホジスンの妹です。1911年頃には1シリングで廉価版が出版されたようです。Publisher's Circular誌3月4日号の新刊広告にはNEW SHILLING (NET) NOVELSとして再びGhost Piratesのタイトルが上がっています。詳しいことはわかりませんが緑クロスのものがこれかもしれません。他に、黒クロスで特別に装丁された特装版も存在します。

 埋もれていた作家ホジスンの再評価に大きく貢献したのが、Cthulhu神話で有名なH.P.ラヴクラフトです。もともとはラヴクラフトのファンだったオーガスト・ダーレスによって、主にラヴクラフトの本を出版するという目的のために設立された小さな出版社、「アーカムハウス」。ここから1946年に出版されたのが、『The House on the Borderland and other novels』。書影が、その本です。この本が、ホジスン再評価の先鞭となりました。
 収録作品は、『The Boats of the "Glen Carrig" 』、
『The House on the Borderland』、『The Ghost Pirates』、の、いわゆる「ボーダーランド三部作」に、問題作『The Night Land』を加えたもの。つまり、ホジスンの全長編を収録したものでした。

「定本ラヴクラフト全集」7-Ⅰ 国書刊行会刊






 作者は、グレッグ・ベア(Greg Bear)
 ちなみに、原題は「The way of all ghosts」。

 「SFの殿堂 遥かなる地平 ②」


 この作品の元になっているアイデアは、そもそもベアの長編シリーズの核になっている、「道(The Way)」という巨大な構造物です。これは、直径が50キロメートル、長さは無限の人工宇宙だということですが、勉強不足ながら、僕は長編の方を読んでいないので、はっきりとしたことはいえないのですが、おそらく、人工的に作られた一種のワームホールのようなものだろうと思います。この「道」の中を通る事で、様々な宇宙へ移動できるというわけです。この小説中での「ナイトランド」の扱いは、この「道」から開かれた「ゲート」の向こうにある、平行宇宙の一つというものです。ただし、「ナイトランド」のある宇宙は、この宇宙とは余りにも違ったため、非合法に開いた「ゲート」は<病斑>となり、閉じる事もできず、それが両界の宇宙に致命的なダメージを与える危険性を持っています。<角面堡>は、その侵入を食い止めている砦として存在しています。


(Without the usual apologies.)

William Hope Hodgson

Once upon a morning dreary, while I pondered weak and weary
O'er MSS unaccepted that were scattered round the floor-
While I pondered, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of someone gently rapping, rapping at my outer door;
'Tis a Dun, I muttered weakly, waiting hungry for my ore-
Only that, and nothing more.

Suddenly my soul grew stronger, and I stayed in bed no longer;
For a strange presentment whispered that the Post was at the door,
And that all that gentle tapping which had stirred me in my napping
Was the postman slowly dropping cheques by scores upon the floor.
And at the thought-loud cheering-rushed Ito my outer door-
MSS there-and nothing more.

Long I stood there peering, peering-all the evil in me leering;
And my back and heart were aching ere the pile was off the floor;
Then at last the quiet was broken, as I murmured forth in token
Of my lack of due elation, one bright adjective-and more,
These I whispered very gently, and there echoed back in awe
Just a cuss, and nothing more.

'Editors,' I muttered slowly, 'are you men or are you devils?
(Buy the MSS that are with you!) By that God we all adore,
Tell this soul with MSS laden, if within some dusty haven
I shall see my name engraven in your book wherein you score
Names of those who are "accepted"? Hasten now I do implore!'
Came a whisper-'Nevermore!'

For the Editors are sitting, still are sitting, grimly sitting,
On my tousled heaps of MSS piled beneath them on the floor;
And their eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming,
Whilst their pens are ever streaming o'er 'REFUSALS' by the score;
And the thud of MSS falling through the slit in my front door
Shall cease thudding-nevermore!


「The Wandering soul」 Tartarus Press刊 より。





 フランスでは、1984年のPLAYBOYのScience Fiction特集号にグレン・キャリッグが掲載されたようです。ただし、これが「グレン・キャリッグ」のフランス初紹介ではないようですが、珍しいので紹介します。





It was the same figure that I had just been attributing to my fancy. I will admit that I felt more than startled; I was quite a bit frightened. I was convinced now that it was no mere imaginary thing. It was a human figure. And yet, with the flicker of the moonlight and the shadows chasing over it, I was unable to say more than that. Then, as I stood there, irresolute and funky, I got the thought that someone was acting the goat; though for what reason or purpose, I never stopped to consider. I was glad of any suggestion that my common sense assured me was not impossible; and, for the moment, I felt quite relieved. That side to the question had not presented itself to me before. I began to pluck up courage. I accused myself of getting fanciful; otherwise I should have tumbled to it earlier. And then, funnily enough, in spite of all my reasoning, I was still afraid of going aft to discover who that was, standing on the lee side of the maindeck. Yet I felt that if I shirked it, I was only fit to be dumped overboard; and so I went, though not with any great speed, as you can imagine.

I had gone half the distance, and still the figure remained there, motionless and silent--the moonlight and the shadows playing over it with each roll of the ship. I think I tried to be surprised. If it were one of the fellows playing the fool, he must have heard me coming, and why didn't he scoot while he had the chance? And where could he have hidden himself, before? All these things, I asked myself, in a rush, with a queer mixture of doubt and belief; and, you know, in the meantime, I was drawing nearer. I had passed the house, and was not twelve paces distant; when, abruptly, the silent figure made three quick strides to the port rail, and climbed over it into the sea.

I rushed to the side, and stared over; but nothing met my gaze, except the shadow of the ship, sweeping over the moonlit sea.

How long I stared down blankly into the water, it would be impossible to say; certainly for a good minute. I felt blank--just horribly blank. It was such a beastly confirmation of the unnaturalness of the thing I had concluded to be only a sort of brain fancy. I seemed, for that little time, deprived, you know, of the power of coherent thought. I suppose I was dazed--mentally stunned, in a way.

As I have said, a minute or so must have gone, while I had been staring into the dark of the water under the ship's side. Then, I came suddenly to my ordinary self. The Second Mate was singing out: "Lee fore brace."

I went to the braces, like a chap in a dream.


一、大海から現れたもの (続き)

 さっきもいったように、舷側の暗闇を見下ろしながら、何分も過ぎていたに違いない。ふと、現実に引き戻された。 「リー・フォア・ブレース!」二等航海士の声が聞こえたんだ。